During the University of Oregon students’ traditional pilgrimage to Shasta Lake during early summer months, one student was found dead in his tent on Saturday morning. The cause of death is still undetermined.
Dylan Pietrs, 21, “died in an incident at Lake Shasta this weekend,” the school said in a statement. The 21-year-old was seen drinking in the area throughout the day on Friday, before he went to his tent early in the evening. Pietrs was found not breathing at the Gooseneck Campground. CPR was performed, but he was declared dead at the scene. Investigators did not believe foul play was involved.
The tragedy rocked the university’s campus in Eugene, Oregon this weekend, especially after an insensitive statement was sent out from the university on behalf of the Division of Student Life.
“As devastating as this sudden passing is, it is important to point out that this tragedy is connected to an unauthorized tradition among many college students,” read the statement.
“Students from many institutions have a history of demonstrating poor life choices during visits to Lake Shasta,” the statement read. “These activities are contrary to the values of the university and fraternity and sorority organizations.”
The term “poor life choices” was ripped apart by students and parents alike. While the statement was trying to turn this into a teaching moment for students considering the trip to Shasta Lake, it was poor timing and wordage to use at the time.
The statement was eventually altered without the controversial verbiage:
The Division of Student Life has updated its statement on the passing of a student at Lake Shasta. We offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the student, and we regret the insensitive tone of the earlier statement: https://t.co/FF416d8wRc
— University of Oregon (@uoregon) May 20, 2018
Pietrs was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and was studying business administration. Our condolences to his friends and family.
For any students considering visiting Shasta Lake with their friends this summer, please read our Open Letter to the Students “Houseboating” on Shasta Lake during Memorial Day Weekend.